August 18, 2006

Living With An Autistic Child

(HealthDay News) -- Autism is a poorly understood disease that is difficult not only for a diagnosed child, but also for family members who must learn to adapt to the child's special physical and emotional needs.

Here are suggestions from the Autism Society of America:

  • First recognize and admit that caring for an autistic child can be overwhelming -- you'll only make yourself feel more stressed if you try to convince yourself that it's not.
  • Each member of the family needs some time, doing what he or she enjoys and not focusing on the autistic family member. Everyone needs a break.
  • Reward yourself with a special meal, movie night, or other treat every so often while family or friends care for the autistic child.
  • Consider joining a support group or counseling session for families and parents of autistic children. Sharing your experiences with others can be a big help.
  • Try breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • Keep a journal of what you're experiencing and feeling. Getting your thoughts down on paper may help relieve stress.

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